First Preview of New York Oedipus Deemed 'Tech Dress'

News   First Preview of New York Oedipus Deemed 'Tech Dress'
 
Theatergoers attending the first preview of the four-and-one-half-hour adaptation of Blue Light Theatre Company's Oedipus Sept. 20 in New York City were surprised by an announcement that the performance, with Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, was to be considered a "final dress tech." Translation: Bear with us, there may be technical glitches.

Theatergoers attending the first preview of the four-and-one-half-hour adaptation of Blue Light Theatre Company's Oedipus Sept. 20 in New York City were surprised by an announcement that the performance, with Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, was to be considered a "final dress tech." Translation: Bear with us, there may be technical glitches.

Ticketbuyers for the staging at the CSC Theatre in Manhattan were invited either to stay or exchange for another performance, and spokesman Charlie Siedenburg said 30-40 people remained to experience the nascent work of Billy Crudup (in the title role), McDormand (as his adopted mother, Merope) and company. The "tech dress" designation was "due to the techincal demands of the show," Siedenburg told Playbill On-Line (Sept. 21). The first performance played in its entirety, and previews continue toward an Oct. 11 opening. Oedipus is scheduled through Oct. 25. The "tech dress " designation was "due to the techincal demands of the show," Siedenburg told Playbill On-Line (Sept. 21). The first performance played in its entirety and previews continue toward an Oct. 11 opening. Oedipus is scheduled through Oct. 25.

Some Sept. 20 theatergoers exchanged tickets for another performance, Siedenburg said, adding that the remaining audience seemed understanding and engaged by the process.

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Crudup plays that grand, pre-Freudian schlimazel of Greek theatre, Oedipus, in director Dare Clubb's new adaptation of the ancient myth. Frances McDormand plays his adopted mother. Jeffrey Donavan has been cast as Tiresias and Johanna Day will be Periboea. Also in the cast are Jon De Vries, Alex Draper, Jonathan Fried, Carolyn McCormick, Larry Nathanson, Camilia Sanes, and Alan Tudyk. According to a plot description, Clubb's Oedipus makes every effort to fulfill his tragic destiny, and the play follows his frustrated attempts to kill his father and bed his mother.

Crudup was last seen on stage as Solyony in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 1997 Broadway production of Three Sisters. Since making his Broadway debut in Lincoln Center's production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, Crudup has forged a growing film career, appearing in such movies as Inventing the Abbotts, Grind and Everybody Says I Love You. He is also a member of the Drama Dept. theatre company, though he has yet to appear in one of its productions.

McDormand won an Oscar in 1997 for her performance as a pregnant, Midwestern sheriff in Fargo. Her other films include Mississippi Burning and Short Cuts. Among her stage roles are Masha in Three Sisters at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J. Clubb and McDormand met at Yale University, where both attended school. Clubb decided the Blue Light was the right troupe to stage his version of the Oedipus myth after seeing its production of Howard Barker's Scenes from an Execution in 1996.

Oedipus will be a marathon outing, running over four hours with two intermissions. To combat this, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances of the show will commence at 7 PM, while Wednesday and Sunday will feature 2 PM matinees only.

For tickets to Oedipus call (212) 279-4200.

-- By Kenneth Jones and Robert Simonson

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